Fair Fashion

The Eco Bridesmaid Diaries: My Reused Gown from BridesmaidTrade.com

That's me wearing a Bridesmaid Trade gown in front of the Montauk Point Lighthouse

It’s such an honor to be a bridesmaid, that is, until it’s not and you have a bridezilla or bridesmaidzillas on your hands.

So I’ve heard.

I don’t have personal experience though. I swear. Fortunately, I’ve had the loveliest of experiences with brides. At 26, more and more girlfriends are getting hitched, which is fun for me because I’m that girl who really loves weddings. And I think that putting your energy and love into some else’s day as a bridesmaid is a very beautiful thing to do.

My only issue with being in the bridal party is the fact that most bridesmaids wear their dress only once. Sure, some dresses are pretty enough to be worn again, but even if you love the dress, who really wants to be tagged in a photo on Facebook wearing the exact same dress they wore to their best friend’s wedding?

The material could always be used to create something new, but how many people really put their energy into such a project? The reality is that most bridesmaid gowns hang deep in the crevices of closets all over the world, labeled ‘that expensive dress I’ll never wear again.’

Luckily enough, there’s a site solving the wasteful bridesmaid dress dilemma.

I stumbled upon BridesmaidTrade.com — an online marketplace where you can buy, sell and rent once-worn bridesmaid gowns — as I was searching for a second-hand or vintage bridesmaid gown for my Father’s wedding. (Yep, that’s a whole other post!) They have a really nice selection of bridesmaid dresses in all colors, styles and sizes; all of which cost a fraction of what you’d pay in the store.

My Dad and I

Once I set eyes on the beautiful, floor length navy blue gown on BridesmaidTrade.com, I knew I had to have it, but only temporarily. I was keen on renting it so another lucky girl could wear such a pretty dress. The Bridesmaid Trade team was incredibly helpful, and the gown arrived to me wrinkle-free. After the wedding, I simply shipped the dress back. Not only did I avoid buying something new, but I saved quite a bit of money.

This Spring, one of my dearest friends Laura, (who co-founded women’s clothing brand ElleLauri with her sister and Maid of Honor Liz) is getting married! I’m lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids and she selected a gorgeous silk chiffon dress from JCrew for her bridesmaids. I plan on selling the dress on BridesmaidTrade.com after Laura’s wedding so it can be re-worn, and another gal out there can don such a lovely number.

As I sojourn into this bridesmaid phase of my life, I’ll keep you posted on my evolution.


Follow Lindsay on Twitter: @LindsEBrown

Lindsay has spent her career at the intersection of media and social change. In her role at Eco-Chick, Lindsay has established partnerships and campaigns with some of the world’s most-recognized companies committed to sustainability and CSR. She co-created the popular interview series “Heroines for the Planet” that features groundbreaking women who share courage and a deep passion for protecting people and the Earth. Lindsay is the Marketing and Sustainability Manager at Health-Ade Kombucha and previously served as Director of Communications at the social enterprise CBS EcoMedia. There she directed corporate advertising dollars to the nation’s most effective non-profits tackling urgent social issues in local communities and was awarded CBS Corporation’s prestigious Share-the-Vision award. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, From The Grapevine, EarthHour.org, Eco-Age.com, and for environmentalists Laura Turner Seydel and Susan Rockefeller. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.